The winner of the local heat of the Rotary Young Chef competition is hoping to sauté and sizzle her way to success with Jersey-inspired dishes, as she heads to the next round of the competition in Hampshire this weekend.
Scarlett Crow, a Year 10 pupil at Jersey College for Girls, triumphed over students from Les Quennevais and Grainville schools at the local round in February.
The young chef managed to tantalise the tastebuds of professional chefs and the Education Minister, Deputy Inna Gardiner, who was on hand to admire the culinary skills of young students.
Madeleine de la Cour, the President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Jersey, who will accompany Scarlett and her mum to Hampshire this weekend, said: "The judges were very impressed with her three dishes."
Speaking to Express about her win, Scarlett said: "I felt quite shocked and obviously very happy. I was not expecting it at all as there were lots of other people there who had cooked amazing dishes."
There were also prizes given out at the local heat for the best use of Jersey ingredients, and the best starter, main course, and dessert not from the winner's menu.
Pictured: Rotary President Richard Romeril presented Scarlett with the overall winner's trophy (John Reed).
The Rotary Young Chef Competition returned this year after a three-year hiatus due to covid.
In the national competition, organised by the Rotary Club of Great Britain, students aged between 13 and 14 years of age are given two hours to prepare a healthy three course meal for no more than £22.
Since winning the local round, Scarlett has had the opportunity to spend a morning cooking her dishes with Will Holland, Executive Chef at the Atlantic Hotel, which she said was an "amazing experience."
But she has well-mixed emotions as she heads off to the district finals, where she will compete against students from Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire.
"I'm excited but also quite nervous because I have no idea what the competition will be like," she admitted. "I'm just looking forward to doing my best and enjoying the experience."
Scarlett has always relished baking, but now cooking is becoming her passion.
"It's also a great way of helping my parents out with dinner!" she added.
Scarlett is currently taking Food & Nutrition GCSE, which she especially enjoys due to the variety of different dishes she gets to make each week.
Pictured: Deputy Inna Gardiner talks tastebuds with Andrew Baird, Executive Head Chef at Longueville Manor (credit: John Reed).
Antoinette De Louche, Head of Food & Nutrition Studies at JCG and Scarlett's form tutor, said: "The Rotary Young Chef competition is a wonderful initiative for young people to develop their culinary skills and creativity. They can learn from the experienced chef judges, and other participants, and apply their new knowledge to improve their cooking abilities.
"Learning to prepare a healthy three course meal on a budget is also a valuable skill, which will stand students in good stead in later life."
Revealing her selection of mouthwatering Jersey-inspired dishes, Scarlett said: "My starter is Jersey scallops, served with chorizo crumbs, and cauliflower purée with homegrown pea shoots.
"For the main course, I will be cooking chicken stuffed with garlic-and-herb cream cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, served with duchess potatoes, garlic-buttered green beans and local vine tomatoes.
"The dessert will be a sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and Jersey Chantilly cream."
Rotarian Bill Marshall, who organises the local competition rounds, explained that Jersey students have had much success in recent years.
On three occasions, local students have reached the regionals. In 2018, Sophie Robinson won her regional heat which saw her flambéing in the national final as one of the top eight out of over five-and-half-thousand initial entrants.
If Scarlett places in the top three, she will progress to the regional finals.
Pictured top: The competitors in this year's local round of the Rotary Young Chef competition (John Reed).
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